Family Bible Study

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Archive for September, 2008

He speaks.

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You know, I put off reading this for so long because of a fear that I’m just now realizing I have habitually: I’m afraid God won’t speak to me.  But yet again He has come through.  I need to start logging these instances.

Several things struck me in this first chapter of Philippians:

1. Paul’s love for the believers. I thought it was sweet that he said he always has joy when he prays for them.  It made me think of the love God has given me for my students this year.

2. The fact that God will complete His good work in the believers. I should apply this to my students also.  Sometimes I get so caught up in all that they are NOT.  It causes me to: stress out, worry about them, get frustrated, reprove them.  When I instead focus on God and what He’s doing, it causes me to: love them, encourage them, laugh with them, instruct them.

3. Because of Paul’s chains, the brothers in the Lord were encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. Funny.  I would have thought chains would have had the reverse effect.  Seeing chains as a consequence might make me afraid to say anything at all.

4. Paul said “to live is Christ.” I ought to have such a strong connection between the two.

5. In the second to last verse, we’re given the promise that we will indeed suffer for Christ. So why do I live life trying to avoid any kind of suffering whatsoever?  It’s not like I can avoid it, nor should I.  It’s good for me; everything given to me by God is a good thing.

Written by karina

September 30th, 2008 at 5:34 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 1

Audience of Philippians

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Paul seems to feel more confident about the maturity of the Philippians than he seems in other epistles. He doesn’t have much rebuke for them, and he doesn’t spend much time talking about the basics.

In chapter 3 he elaborates on what he seemed to consider a mature way of following Christ. He speaks of himself, saying he has not obtained perfection, but he presses on “to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (3:12).

Then he mentions that “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things” (3:15a). He seems to be expecting a certain level of maturity from the Philippians; even skipping right by a chance to correct the immature ones: “And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (3:15b-16).

So, then Philippians can perhaps be seen as an overview of what mature believers should continually pull out of the Gospel. From Paul’s exhortations to continually live a life worthy of the Gospel (1:27-30), and imitate Christ’s attitudes and actions (2:1-18), and finally to remain firm in the true Gospel (Chapter 3). Those are things we all need to continually renew our minds with.

Written by Richard Venable

September 28th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

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Tagged with Philippians

Obedience

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There are two references to obedience in chapter 2.  First, in verse 8, Paul talkes about Christ’s obedience to death.  Now, I think there are two implications of this.  Christ was obedient to death in that he obeyed death’s wishes (and here death can be thought of as connected with Satan) by allowing himself to be killed.  He was humble enough to allow that to happen.  But Christ was also obedient to his Father in heaven.  He obeyed his Father no matter the cost – even unto death on a cross!

The second reference to obedience is in verse 12 where Paul praises the Philippians for being obedient (probably to him and to God) during his presence and his absence.

I think there must be a connection between these two references of obedience.  Here is Christ’s example of the ultimate obedience and here is how our response should be.  Just as Christ was obedient, we should also be obedient.

Obedience isn’t a popular word today.  It can often denote a sense of complacency or maybe being a push-over.  But when I think about Christ, he was so passionate and so righteous and so just!  He loved what was right and yet he humbled himself to let what was not right be done because that is what the Father desired.  It is an act of the absurd, as Kierkegaard would say, but it is what we must put our faith in.  And it is the act we must emulate – just like the Philippians did!

Written by Hannah Venable

September 25th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 2:8,12

Vain Conceit

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In case you need a mental picture for vain conceit, you can think of one of Jane Austen’s characters, Sir Walter Elliot.  He is so incredibly vain that he has mirrors on almost every wall in his large house so that he can constantly view his relection with admiration.

Written by Hannah Venable

September 24th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 2:3

How do people know?

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Vs. 13 – “As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.”

This is a really powerful verse.  Paul is talking about how his imprisonment is actually helping the gospel being advanced.  He says that it has become clear to all the guards and to everyone around him in the prison that he is there because of Christ.  I had two thoughts/questions on this.

1.  How in the world did everyone just know that he was in chains for Christ?  Did he tell them all?  Did he preach to them all?  Or was the presence of God so strong with him that it was so evident?

2.  How can we let everyone around us know that we are here because of Christ?  What if everyone we meet believer/unbeliever would somehow know that our purpose is to live for Christ.  They would say something like:  “Oh, that Hannah-girl, yeah, she lives for Christ.”  Or “Natalie, that girl in Kinsolving, yeah, I think she lives for Christ or something.”  How do we let people know that we are living for Christ without preaching?  Certainly, preaching is necessary sometimes, but with Paul, he may not have been able to preach to everyone in the prison, yet they all knew.

I would love your thoughts on this.  Perhaps, it has something to do with verse 26:

“so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”

Perhaps when people are around us, they feel the overflowing of God’s love.  Thoughts?

Written by Hannah Venable

September 23rd, 2008 at 3:54 pm

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Tagged with Philippians 1

Philippians Bible Study

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Welcome to the Family Biblefox!  I thought we could start by reading Philippians.  It is a nice short book.  And it will give us some time to get used to Biblefox.  As you read a chapter, feel free to write your thoughts down and read other people’s thought as well!

Enjoy, Biblefox!

Written by Hannah Venable

September 23rd, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with Philippians

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